204 HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION the task of repelling its advances in the countries still adhering to Rome and of countering them in Protestant countries. The scholarly interests of Ignatius and his followers led them to see that the key to the situation was in higher education ; and as part of their organization for overcoming heresy they gradually built up in all the countries where they established themselves a system of colleges and universities, resembling in general character the educational institutions of their opponents, but modified in accordance with their own special aims. In this enterprise they achieved immediate success. Before the death of Ignatius the order had a hundred colleges and houses distributed over twelve " provinces," and by the end of the century a very large part of the higher educational work in Catholic countries was in the hands of its members. The secret of their success is partly to be found in the fine enthusiasm and devotion with which they combined learning and piety in the performance of their duties. The catastrophe of the Reformation had given a new vigour to all the deeper and nobler elements in Catholicism; and people and rulers alike in most countries were ready to welcome the self-denying labours of a society which had proved its intellectual and spiritual worth in face of the bitterest opposition, and to grant the unreserved control of colleges and universities demanded by it as a condition of under- taking the work of education. But this in itself would not have secured the permanence of the movement. For that the explanation must be found in the evolution of an educational system which was at once in complete accord with the genius of Catholicism and fundamentally sound in its practical methods. With profound insight into the needs of the age, Ignatius followed the military models with which his earlier life had made him familiar. The Spanish name he first applied to the order was " The Regiment of Jesus " ; the head of it, called the " General," was endowed with the absolute authority of a military head ; every member under- took the implicit obedience of a soldier to his superior. With all this the essential autocracy was mitigated by a sane regard for human nature. Ignatius himself, though a visionary, was a man of rare practical judgment, and knew how to make full use of the special abilities and interests of his subordinates; and his im- mediate successors, to whom it fell to complete the system initiated by him, followed closely in his footsteps.